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Under a Clumsy Sky

By Falling James

Canadian twin sisters Tegan & Sara continue their sold-out run of nights at this venue tonight, building on the momentum of their 2007 CD, The Con. Their songs of romantic attraction/repulsion — such as "Nineteen," with its surging riffs and yearningly endearing lyrics ("I felt you in my legs before I ever met you") — are carefully arranged with soothingly sweet harmonies. As charming as Tegan & Sara can be, you shouldn't miss openers Girl in a Coma, a San Antonio trio who are even more ambitious, taking their punk and riot-grrl influences into genuinely new and dramatically exhilarating territory on their Blackhearts Records debut, Both Before I'm Gone. The album opens with "Clumsy Sky," as elegant chimes of guitar unfold under Nina Diaz's positively lulling, maternally comforting vocals. Then her drummer-sister, Phanie Diaz, and bassist Jenn Alva knock down the door with an unexpected explosion of rhythm, and the song breaks free from its leash and rockets madly around the neighborhood. And yet, through all of the storms that follow, Diaz belts out her insightfully probing lyrics with a deep and full, instantly recognizable voice that remains serenely searing. Moods range from the gauzy intimacy of "Road to Home" (with one of the year's grandest hooks) and the Cure-like throb of "In the Background" to the punky incisions of "Mr. Chivalry."